What with YouTube having been deemed “inappropriate” by the powers that be in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country has instead decided to launch its own version of the video-sharing website, with the major difference being that users will only be allowed to upload “appropriate” content.
Known as Mehr, after the Zoroastrian God of Truth, the aim of the site is to promote the Islamic nation’s culture and artists.
Mehr will operate slightly different to its Google-owned rival. Although content can be uploaded by anyone, it will only go ‘live’ on the site after it’s been approved by government-employed moderators. In addition, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRAB) will also be providing much of the content for the website.
Sadly, it appears as if the site hasn’t gone live just yet – we checked and the URL appears to be inaccessible, so we’re unable to see the kind of mullah-inspired propaganda it might contain, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted .
We probably shouldn’t be that surprised to see Iran doing this, as the country has long criticized sites that promote blasphemous content. Sites such as Gmail, Facebook and many foreign news organizations have long been blocked by the nation’s authorities, whilst its citizen’s communications are thought to be routinely monitored.
It first banned YouTube back in 2009, following hotly disputed elections that saw thousands of protestors take to the streets to challenge the results that saw incumbent President Ahmajinedad re-elected.
Iran has also stated that it wants to cut off the country from the web altogether, going as far as to announce it would create its own domestic internet instead. It’s not clear when this will actually become a reality, although previously Iranian authorities had said that they hoped to have everything in place by 2013.